Swimming during Pregnancy
There are many benefits to swimming during pregnancy. It is a safe and enjoyable way to exercise while you are pregnant.
Swimming can increase your muscle tone. Help improve your circulation. Help to burn calories. Build strength and improve your stamina.
If you have a healthy pregnancy, you should aim to participate in trimester-specific pregnancy workouts. Swimming is a great way to complement these workouts.
Be sure to check with your doctor, physiotherapist or midwife before you start if swimming is new to you.
Swimming helps to keep you fit.
This will make it easier to adapt to pregnancy. It may also help you to feel better about your changing body.
Swimming is a particularly good exercise in pregnancy, as the water helps to support your extra weight. This can be a huge relief, especially in the third trimester. And unlike some other forms of aerobic exercise, swimming helps you to feel cool.
Swimming is a non-impact form of exercise
The water will assist in supporting your joints as you swim thus protecting you against injury.
What you may not know is that, along with my in-studio classes and online workouts, I also teach our very own PregAqua class.
If a PregAqua class is not available in your area, then check out your local swim centre to see if they have a similar prenatal class available.
Swimming also helps to:
1. Improve circulation.
2. Build endurance.
3. Reduce swelling and fluid retention.
4. Maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.
5. Improve sleep.
6. Ease aches and pains.
7. Boost heart and lung function.
8. Increase muscle tone and strength.
If swimming lap after lap is not for you, then you should consider looking into aqua-natal exercise classes. You do not have to be a strong swimmer to join one of our PregAqua classes.
There is also a strong social and support component about participating in these classes with other pregnant women.
Swimming During Pregnancy Tips
1. If you were a competent swimmer prior to getting pregnant then continue with your normal swimming program. As you progress into late pregnancy, you will need to modify your swim sessions. This may include swimming a shorter distance and at a slower speed.
2. If you were not a competent swimmer prior to being pregnant, then starting now will require you to take some lessons.
3. Consult your doctor first and let them know you want to swim on a regular basis. Exercise is not for all pregnant women.
4. Always start slowly. The last think you need is to sustain an injury or over-exert yourself.
5. Reduce your intensity. There’s no need to set personal bests when pregnant.
6. Select a stroke which feels comfortable for you. This will likely be freestyle. Avoid breaststroke if you are experiencing pelvic pain as the kicking motion only exaggerates this problem. Avoid backstroke later on.
Safety Tips for Water Training when Pregnant
1. Water temperature should not exceed 32 degrees Celsius.
2. Pregnant woman should NOT exercise in a hydrotherapy pool or spa (too hot).
3. Intensity recommendation is low – moderate. Avoid high intensity training.
4. To avoid a sudden drop in blood pressure, ensure that when you leave the pool, you move from deep to shallow water first and then get out slowly.
5. If you start to feel light headed it’s important that you sit and wait until you feel normal again before standing.
Swimming During Your First Trimester
When you swim will often come down to how you are feeling and if you are suffering from morning sickness. Swimming for 20-30 minutes is a good time frame.
It is during this first trimester that you will be experiencing some body changes. While you may not yet be showing, you mist remember you are pregnant! So, please do not push yourself.
Swimming During Your Second Trimester
Continue swimming a comfortable pace and distance. Avoid over-exerting yourself and monitor how you feel.
Combine these swimming sessions with your at home prenatal workouts or your modified gym sessions. Your belly is now starting to show.
Swimming During Your Third Trimester
You can continue with your program, just be aware of how your body feels. You must be prepared to modify all aspects of your sessions. This includes reducing the distance and intensity of your swims.
Your belly will now noticeable start to impact on how you swim. Take regular rest breaks.